Sidney Lumet has adapted and will direct “The Set-Up,” based on the Robert Wise 1949 RKO classic that starred Robert Ryan.
Lumet and the pics’ producers are gunning for a dream team, with Benjamin Bratt and James Gandolfini attached to star and Halle Berry in talks to join them.
RKO Intl., the joint venture with Cobalt Media, is in discussions to finance the $20 million-budgeted film along with RKO Pictures. RKO CEO Ted Hartley will produce along with co-producer Bonnie Timmermann. The producers are in talks with several domestic distribs.
“The Set-Up” centers on a 35-year-old professional boxer whose glory days have passed. The mob demands that he throw a big fight for a cash reward but he’s unwilling to accept defeat, as a boxer and as a man. He manages to win the fight and to reaffirm his love for his long-time girlfriend. Gandolfini would play the role of a former Vegas hotel manager, also in love with the fighter’s girlfriend.
The producers hope to lense the pic in Gotham and Atlantic City, where the big fight takes place.
Bratt, repped by the William Morris Agency, is currently shooting “The Great Raid” for Miramax and director John Dahl. He is said to be already training for his boxer role in “The Set-Up.” Gandolfini, repped by Writers & Artists, continues to co-star in HBO’s hit series “The Sopranos.” Last year, he appeared in Gore Verbinski’s “The Mexican,” starring opposite Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts.
CAA-repped Oscar winner Berry will next be seen in “Die Another Day,” the latest James Bond installment from MGM.